RRC Polytech is once again a top research institution in the country, earning the 14th spot in Re$earch Infosource’s annual ranking of Canada’s top 50 research colleges, released last week.
“RRC Polytech makes innovation possible for our partners in industry and community — and every successful project builds trust in our technology, facilities and expertise,” says Jamie Wilson, the College’s Vice-President, Indigenous Strategy, Research and Business Development.
“Today’s rankings reflect the College’s growing reputation for consistency and productivity, which is driven by the work of our Research Partnerships & Innovation enterprise and at our three Technology Access Centres.
“They also reinforce that our approach of strengthening relationships with partners and funders across all sectors, driving alignment between stakeholders and valuing sustainability is accelerating applied research innovation here in Manitoba.”
In the 2022 fiscal year, RRC Polytech completed 170 applied research projects via 117 research partnerships — almost 60 more than the previous year — ranking it third in the Medium Tier category and fourth nationwide.
By maintaining its average of $7.4 million for a second consecutive year, Manitoba’s polytechnic also remains on par with the per-college provincial average of sponsored research income in Alberta, and only slightly behind Ontario’s.
As an added feature to its annual publication, Canada’s Innovation Leaders 2023, Re$earch Infosource also shines a spotlight on college-industry research income as measured by grants, contracts or contributions received from industry sources over the past five years, where RRC Polytech again showed a remarkably consistent annual average of just over $7 million from 2018-2022.
Applied research examples at RRC Polytech include a current partnership between the Technology Access Centre for Aerospace & Manufacturing and StandardAero, who are collaborating to test and validate that cold-spray technology could be effectively implemented in repairing aircraft components.
The College’s Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre continues to facilitate the shift to electrification and zero-emission fuel sources with projects aimed at expanding workplace charging capabilities; partnering with Seven Oaks School Division, Noble Northern and the Canadian Shield Foundation to develop a diesel-to-electric conversion kit for school buses; and building on the success of completed projects by repurposing batteries from Winnipeg Transit electric bus trials in storage systems on fast chargers also created on campus.
The most comprehensive example is From Lab to Table, a culinary research review in the form of a cookbook that shares the delicious outcomes of applied research conducted at the College’s Prairie Research Kitchen (shown above) since 2014, while also documenting the history of the only Technology Access Centre in Manitoba to blend food science and culinary arts.
From discovering and developing novel uses for pulse and soybean products to upcycling food industry byproducts and even embracing insects for protein, book is available to read or download at researchrecipes.ca.
“Celebrating the variety of products, techniques and technology that our researchers, staff and students have worked together with our partners to develop is as important as the volume of projects completed,” says Wilson.
“Because regardless of the size or scope of the project — from entrepreneurs in search of support to launch and grow their business idea, to established enterprises seeking advancements to propel them into the future, —we want everyone to know that in addition to training the workforce of tomorrow, RRC Polytech is also here to provide innovative solutions that elevate all Manitobans.”